The Authority was created in 1971 and consists of eight members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. A representative of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the President of the Minnesota Private College Council, who is a non-voting member, are also members of the Authority.
The Authority has never received state appropriations or tax revenue for its operations. It has no taxing power. Its operating expenses are funded by annual fees paid by each borrower. The fee charged to each borrower is based upon the borrower’s outstanding Authority-issued debt. It does not make grants and will not provide a guaranty, reserve or other security for its bonds.
A two-person staff, led by the Executive Director and assisted by its Operations Manager, provides borrowers with specific advice on tax-exempt financing. Borrowers receive periodic summaries of Authority debt issues. In addition, the Authority hosts an annual educational conference to highlight trends and issues in the municipal market and ongoing assistance with tax and securities law compliance.
The borrowers are private nonprofit educational institutions authorized to provide education beyond high school. Eligible projects include facilities for housing, academic and administrative purposes, parking, student centers and other buildings and equipment to be used for instruction, research, or operations.
Public colleges in the State are also eligible but are limited to child-care and parking facilities or special projects authorized by special legislation.